Will Rogers Park – Oklahoma City OK


“Development of this 118-acre park began in the 1930s as a joint project of the Oklahoma City Parks Department and the National Parks Service, with labor from the CCC and WPA. The CCC cleared trees and brush, pruned, built terraces and dammed two small tributaries of the North Fork River to form two small lakes. The WPA work consisted of many native sandstone structures, including picnic shelters, a wood and stone Rose Arbor, footbridges, low walls and terraces, curbing, gardens, curved roads, and a beautiful amphitheater. These stone structures are still used today and are in excellent condition. The coordinates shown above are at the stone footbridge shown in the gallery.

The northwest portion of the park known as the Will Rogers Park Gardens and Arboretum is a 32-acre area with rolling land, rock terraces, hundreds of native and imported trees, and beautiful gardens, including the formal Charles E. Sparkes Rose Garden.

The picnic pavilion on the south side of the park is a beautiful example of native red sandstone construction, with its stone stairway leading to a tower lookout on the southwest side. Plan to spend several hours here as you walk throughout the gardens and enjoy the WPA-built structures throughout the park.”  (waymarking.com)

A 1987 “CCC monument stands in front of the amphitheater as you enter from Portland Avenue. The monument is an eight foot granite slab. At the top is a seal showing trees and a lake, with the words “UNITED STATES CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS” around the perimeter. A ribbon streetching out from the seal on both sides reads: “Spirit of the CCC / 1933 / 1942 / Alumni”.”   (waymarking.com)

The words engraved on the monument explain: “This Park Was Created Between 1933 and 1936 by Civilian Conservation Corps Companies 872, 875 and 895 for Future Generations of Americans…

Companies 872, 875 and 895 Left a Permanent Memorial
To the Service of its Members in the Form of this
Beautiful Will Rogers Park and Gardens, which Serves
Countless Millions of Visitors.”

The park is also called the Northwest Oklahoma City Park.

Source notes

1) http://www.okc.gov/parks/will_rogers/history.html
2) www.ocgi.okstate.edu/shpo/nhrpdfs/05001000.pdf
3) http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMF06A_Will_Rogers_Park_Oklahoma_City_OK
4) http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMF05W_CCC_Will_Rogers_Park_Oklahoma_City_OK
5) Barton, Marjorie, and Bob Burke. 2008. Leaning on a Legacy: The WPA in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Heritage Association.

Project originally submitted by hamquilter on March 22, 2013.

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Location Info

Will Rogers Park
Oklahoma City, OK 73112

Coordinates: 35.5039518, -97.5802524

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